Miranda Lambert - "CMT All-Time Top 40: Miranda Lambert"
"Miranda has that projection, that magic that nobody can name," says Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare. "You can't put your finger on it, but it's there. ... A few people have that, and Miranda is one of the few that has the magic thing that everybody wishes they had."
Lambert arrives at No. 31 on the list of influential artists chosen by country stars themselves. The next spot on the list is unveiled each week on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.
Since emerging in 2003 as a finalist on the Nashville Star singing competition, Lambert has released four No. 1 albums, nine Top 10 songs and accepted countess awards. She is the current ACM and CMA female vocalist of the year and recently earned six nominations for the upcoming 2014 CMT Music Awards.
Her fifth studio album, Platinum, is slated for a June 3 release and includes her latest single, "Automatic."
Along with Bare, Chris Young, Danielle Bradbery, Ashley Monroe, Dustin Lynch and Kip Moore selected Miranda Lambert for inclusion on CMT All-Time Top 40: Artist's Choice.
"Top of mind, when you say 'Miranda Lambert,' I say, 'She's unabashedly herself,'" Young says. "She doesn't care. She's gonna be her -- no filter, no holds barred. And that's a mark of a true artist."
As a fellow graduate of reality TV, Bradbery finds much to look up to in Lambert.
"Yeah, Miranda has these songs that are like, 'If you mess up, then you better watch it,'" Bradbery says. "And everybody has gotten used to that where Miranda's feisty but, at the same time, she's the sweetest thing. That's what makes her who she is, and I think that's so interesting and a part of why I look up to her -- because she's not afraid to do anything."
"Miranda is obviously one of my best friends in the world," admits Monroe, who joined Lambert and Angaleena Presley to form the trio Pistol Annies. "But I've been a fan of her and her music before we were even friends. I remember actually voting for her when she was on Nashville Star. And then just thinking there was something real when I got her first record and listened to those songs. A lot of those songs, she wrote by herself, and I remind her still to this day there's not many people that can write songs like that and then sing them like she does it."
Moore agrees that Lambert's songwriting is stellar.
"You believe everything Miranda's saying," he tells CMT. "I think her songwriting craft is awesome, and she writes a lot of songs by herself, which shows me a lot. ... When I listen to the craft of those lyrics, she's the real deal. I love the tone and everything about her voice. I'm just a huge fan of what Miranda Lambert does, and I'm so glad that this format has a female like that."
For Lynch, though, there's more to Lambert's music than just singing and songwriting.
"I've always been a huge fan of hers," he admits. "She got started when she was really young and has been a great songwriter and a great vocalist. She's kind of a one-take vocalist, always sings it perfect and always seems to make cool records that continue to grow. And for me, as an artist and songwriter, that's inspiring. I like playing her records because they tell stories if you play them from top to bottom. They're not just songs thrown together. It's a different kind of work that she does. Which is probably why she wins album of the year most of the time."
Tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown each Saturday at 11 a.m. ET/PT to check out the next artist on CMT All-Time Top 40: Artist's Choice.